With all the media melee hovering around Louise Mushikiwabo’s election to head La Francophonie, it is not surprising that two significant developments took place at the same time as elections passed under the radar.
The 18th State of the United States of America, Louisiana, joined the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) with observer status. (No, Mushikiwabo’s first name, Louise, had nothing to do with it)
Few will remember that Louisiana was once a French colony after briefly being a Spanish possession. The United States bought the territory from the French in 1803 for $15 million – about $580 billion today.
Another event, equally important, took place immediately after the elections; the French judiciary threw out a case that was lodged against Rwandan officials more than a decade ago.
Investigative Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière, basing on hearsay and obscure sources, had accused the officials in playing a role in the shooting down of former president Juvenal Habyarimana’s plane.
A subsequent team led by judges Marc Trevidic and Nathalie Poux, after lengthy investigations that even led them to Kigali, dismissed the case in 2014 and instead pointed a finger in the former president’s camp.
But idle gossipers and conspiracy theorists don’t realise they are flogging a dead horse when they want to link Mushikiwabo’s quest for OIF leadership to the dismissal of the case. They conveniently disregard the fact that the decision to throw out the case was made as far back as 2014.
Rwanda’s diplomatic victory has given many of its detractors a sore tummy which will not let up until they bring Rwanda to its knees – a major pipe dream. Rwanda’s vindication is another indication that; “les faits sont têtus” (truth is stubborn), as the French say.